The shipment of ShiftBrites
Submitted by Garrett on Mon, 06/16/2008 - 23:57.
The next stock shipment of ShiftBrites is on the way! Looks like they'll arrive on the 13th. I'll send out an email to the people who contacted me regarding availability, and update the quantity in stock as early as tomorrow depending on how accurate the shipment tracking appears.
Update: we had a customs delay in Alaska...have that ironed out, so hopefully the new stock will arrive tomorrow. When I get confirmation of this, I'll move forward with the email notifications and the stock quantity update.
Submitted by Garrett on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 15:13.
Here's a demo of the new Shifty VU operating. This is no longer feeding Winamp Data into a Cubloc; the audio signal is rectified, filtered, and amplified with an RC decay, then oversampled with an AVR ATmega128 and displayed as a bar graph. Currently no fancy presets, just red and blue, but I have lots of ideas. Fading orange neon, peak detector, variable speed chasers, etc. Feel free to post your own ideas below! Read more»
Submitted by Garrett on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 23:58.
(Update May 19th, 2008): Re-stock arrangements are complete, we may be ready to ship as early as June 10th and no later than June 20th, assuming no problems. When the FedEx tracking indicates the shipment is within a day or two of arrival, the store will be enabled for purchases to be shipped as soon as stock is in hand. I have a big list of email addreses from people who wanted to be notified; you'll all be the first to know! Use the contact link above if you want to get the update. I think I'll send out an email when the ShiftBrites are on the way, and another right before I enable the web store again. Read more»
Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 05/10/2008 - 20:06.
Well, I finally finished setting up a web store to try selling some of the ShiftBrite modules I had manufactured. If these start to go fast, I'll put in a larger order. The product page is available here, and everything should work though it's my first attempt at "e-commerce" I believe is the fashionable term (maybe in 1998). Let me know if anything looks strange.
Submitted by Garrett on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 20:49.
I built these today. Despite appearances, no welding was required. That's all 1/8 inch hardboard and 3/4 inch square hardwood molding, hot glued together. Then I sealed, painted flat black, applied iron-powder paint in various locations, then applied rust agent in multiple layers to get a nice effect. Then I pulled some parts off the TechShop Wall O' Junk and glued them on for extra zing. The tubes contain 10 ShiftBrite modules each, and will be used as left and right VU channels.
Submitted by Garrett on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 01:13.
This was pretty ugly. I needed to cut a bunch of copper-clad FR4 into thin strips for my LED array project. 144 1/4" strips, to be precise. I wasn't going to use the metal shear at TechShop, since fiberglass is pretty abrasive. I was also worried the pinching effect would wrap copper around the edges and short the two sides. Anyway, I lashed together a mini table saw with a Dremel, diamond wheel, hot glue, plywood, and duct tape. Note the Shop Vac dust removal system. It actually worked quite well, cutting about 120 feet of PCB material and I didn't notice any decline in cutting ability. Read more»
Submitted by Garrett on Sun, 04/27/2008 - 01:18.
Ahh, it's that time of year again. Maker Faire Bay Area 2008 is coming up quickly, and I'm in a rush to get my projects done. Worst case, I finish them while at the Faire, which could be interesting too! Above is a photo from last year's Maker Faire here in San Mateo (only a couple miles from where I live and work). My project was a device that makes it easy to send custom keyboard, mouse, or joystick input to a computer over USB. The demo was a model airplane with accelerometers, controlling the same airplane in a flight simulation game. It was really popular, we had people lined up to play the game! Some were actually interested in the hardware behind it. Read more»
Submitted by Garrett on Sat, 04/26/2008 - 02:03.
I've been working on the LED array a few evenings this week, at TechShop. Most of the work is done, at least the part involving woodworking. I still need to drill 384 holes, paint everything white, then build about 75 circuit boards and wire everything up. Should be done in time for the Maker Faire if I get the controller finished this week. Then there's the control software, and web interface, and Winamp plugin, and the other projects....
Submitted by Garrett on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 06:57.
This is the pre-alpha version of one of the VU columns that will be used as an example of ShiftBrite applications at Maker Faire this May. I've only got two LEDs in this one, the brightness corresponding to the current power of the left or right channel. If the power rises above a threshold, some of the green channel is mixed into both LEDs. The audio data is currently fed over a USB-RS232 converter from a custom Winamp plugin I wrote. The actual finished device will be a freestanding tube for the left and right channels, and 10 LEDs in each tube instead of two. There will be several color presets, like "warm neon", "fire", "spectrum", etc. The tube is a fluorescent protector tube from Home Depot lined with galvanized steel mesh from the same store.
Below: a newer version with laser-cut acrylic holder for 10 ShiftBrites, only five are installed right now. Read more»
Submitted by Garrett on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 22:46.